Discussion in 'Civil War' started by Luanne, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. Luanne

    Luanne New Member

    When I was in school, we were taught that one of the major causes of the Civil War was slavery. Do you agree with this, or do you think that other reasons played a more significant role in starting the war?
  2. Vercingetorix

    Vercingetorix Member

    It is certainly true that slavery was the largest issue surrounding the civil war. Sometimes it is argued that the Civil War was about state's rights or regional differences. But what "rights" and "differences" are we talking about here? The "right" that the Southern states were largely concerned about was the right to own slaves, and the regional differences were basically about the same thing. So these other reasons boil down to slavery in the end anyway.
    skyblue likes this.
  3. skyblue

    skyblue Active Member

    I agree with the idea that slavery was the main cause of the Civil War. It was bound to happen, because the issue was avoided at the time of the nation's founding and had to be addressed, eventually.

    That said, it is my opinion that slavery was "on it's way out" as a cultural phenomenon at the time of the Civil War because the economic impetus was fading due to the industrial revolution and technological innovation, so we may have seen slavery ended as a practice, even if there had been no Civil War.
  4. Vercingetorix

    Vercingetorix Member

    I'm not so sure about that, Skyblue. Slavery had been "on it's way out" since the early 1800s. It seems that any advancement of abolition led to a countervailing determination on the part of slaveholders to cling to their privileges with even greater tenacity.

    The economic impetus was indeed fading due to the industrial revolution and technological innovation, but who were the primary beneficiaries of this? I would think that Northern industrialists, machine manufacturers, skilled mechanics, and possibly even regular workingmen would benefit the most from these developments. I do not think the Southern pseudo-aristocratic, land-owning class would have seen their position in society improved at all. So they would be even more determined to cling to their "way of life" in the face of these changes.

    Perhaps the only way to end slavery without a war would have been to buy out the slave-owners, as was done in Britain earlier in the 19th century.
  5. skyblue

    skyblue Active Member

    I don't believe I said that the South would have benefited from the technological developments. I meant that they would have found slavery to be impractical economically, so they would not have continued to fund the situation on that basis. I don't know what they would have "invested" in after slavery was no longer a viable economic model. It's hard to say what might have been.

    I didn't know that Britain bought out their slave-owners. I assume you mean the British government bought them out? How did they determine how much to pay? Did the former slaves go into industrial jobs?
  6. gloine36

    gloine36 Member

    The problem with the slaveowners giving up the slaves was tied into several aspects of life in the Antebellum South. One is that economically the South did not develop much of a free labor wage system. In fact, in records from the era slaveowners or their elected officials (often the same and definitely of the same social class) spoke out against a free labor system and pointed at the wage labor in the North and problems with it. The idea of buying out the slaves had been brought up on more than one occasion, but the slaveowners resisted the idea. There was no way short of war they were going to get rid of slaves without compensation.
    Slaves by 1860 represented about half of the actual wealth of the South. The rest was in investments such as land and business, but slaves had been getting more and more expensive throughout the 1850s. Profits were continually put back into buying more slaves.
    What would have happened without the Civil War occurring is always subjective because it of course occurred.

    One key thing to remember about slavery in that era is just how pervasive it was in every aspect of southern life. Not only did slaves work on plantations, but they were hired out as laborers when the agricultural work was slow. Some of the few industrial plants in the South owned slaves and used them in their workforce. Slaves were not all unskilled laborers either. They were in many occupations as skilled labor. The shortage of free white labor in the South was a real problem and slaves filled that void.
    Note that when the war broke out and later when conscription was started and white males were gone from the region, slaves had to do more work and fill an even larger void than before the war. That fact was recognized and discussed among some people. Had the South somehow pulled off a miracle and gained their independence they would have been faced with some real issues after the war that they had not prepared themselves for. The lack of foresight on the part of those who wanted to secede was very evident in that situation.
  7. Vercingetorix

    Vercingetorix Member

    Hi Skyblue,

    According to wikipedia, "When slaves were emancipated by Act of the British Parliament in 1834, the British government paid compensation to slave owners." Wikipedia further states, "The £20 million fund was 40% of the government's total annual expenditure." I imagine it was enough to keep the slave owners from grumbling, as we haven't heard much about rebellions or protests from British slave owners from that time.

    After doing some research, it seems that when Britain bought out the slaves, they were turned into "apprentices", but this didn't sit too well with the slaves, so the "apprenticeships" were abolished after a few years and the slaves were shortly emancipated entirely.

    Regarding slavery being an inefficient and wasteful form of economically structuring a society, I agree with you wholeheartedly. But the problem is that a system can be detrimental to a society as a whole, but can be beneficial and profitable to select, well-connected groups of people. From our discussions in other threads, I think you will agree with me about that.
    skyblue likes this.
  8. skyblue

    skyblue Active Member

    Yes, I do agree with that, Vercingetorix. Thank you for the fascinating information about the British. That slavery was beneficial for the landowners of the south is indisputable. I did not mean to imply otherwise. Slavery is most definitely detrimental to society as a whole then, as today. I see the whole practice as immoral.

    I will say that indentured servitude, (for the willing!) from what I understand of the practice during the colonial period and somewhat after, may have provided an avenue of upward mobility to some people who had no hope, otherwise.
  9. thomas pendrake

    thomas pendrake Active Member

    Remember that the overwhelming majority of slaves were "owned" by Yankee absentee landlords (mostly Republicans) and managed by overseers such as the fictitious Simon Legree. Half of the Southern slaveholders were of African decent. A significant number of African Americans were never slaves, and some played a major role in the African slave trade. Many prospered. Don't forget, you can still buy slaves in Africa. Perhaps we will someday be able to rid the world of this blight.

    It should also be remembered that over 70,000 "colored" Southerners served with distinction in the racially integrated Confederate army.
  10. gloine36

    gloine36 Member

    You pretty well got everything wrong in that post. Remember that the overwhelming majority of slaves were "owned" by Yankee absentee landlords (mostly Republicans) and managed by overseers such as the fictitious Simon Legree. This is not true. The records clearly show that there were very few situations like this.

    A significant number of African Americans were never slaves, and some played a major role in the African slave trade. Once again, the records show that this is false. Some blacks did own slaves and played a role in slavery. However almost all blacks came to the Americas as slaves. The records are quite clear on this as well. Some did prosper, but as the colonial codes tightened up in the second half of the 17th century, many were forced to leave southern colonies. The descendants of Samuel Johnson of Virginia are a well documented case of this.

    It should also be remembered that over 70,000 "colored" Southerners served with distinction in the racially integrated Confederate army. This is pure fiction. While a handful of blacks managed to serve in the Confederate Army under arms, they were just a handful. The records have been examined with a great deal of care and they do not show that blacks were allowed to serve in the CSA until the very end of the war when absolute desperation set in. Even then, none of those men fought because they were never armed.

    The one case where a state militia unit was created was in Louisiana, but the state only used them for ceremonial purposes. The state never armed them and even when they were needed, the state disbanded them.

    There are several cases where state militias had blacks serving, but when those units were brought into the CSA, the blacks were removed from the units. The CSA refused to allow blacks to serve in the Army. It was not integrated and the records reflect this very clearly. So far, in every case where someone claims to have found a Black Confederate, they fail to do their homework. Every case has been shown to be a slave serving in a capacity of manservant, cook, orderly, etc. Not a single one was a soldier.
  11. thomas pendrake

    thomas pendrake Active Member

    According to the U.S. census , in 1860 approximately 50% of slaveholders were absentee Yankee landlords. They owned large plantations holding large numbers of slaves, whereas most Southern Slaveholders "owned " small numbers of slaves, especially the "black" slaveholders . All you have to do is look at pictures of Confederate troops. Southern forces were integrated, and the records show at least 70,000 Confederate colored troops, from the very beginning of the war. The Military commanders were willing to ignore the rules making it hard for slaves to enlist (free blacks could and did). I once saw a book claiming that Blacks were not in the Confederate Army. The dust cover of the book had a photo of a Confederate Army company of about 200 troops. Beside the Color guard and musicians (who were almost always black in the Confederate Army), about twenty dark faces are seen scattered throughout the troops. After the battle of Gettysburg, the New York Herald reported seven fully armed, uniformed black Confederates were taken prisoner. Considering the Union Army policy of shooting blacks in Confederate Uniforms even if under a white flag, there were certainly more.

    Of course, many blacks did not prosper, just as many don't now. I know some Geechees who have access to family records. One friend relates back to 10 ancestors who came from Africa. All 10 came as indentured servants, but 5 were betrayed after they arrived and were sold into slavery. Many blacks other that the Geechees came as indentured servants, as did many whites. Most Gechees are aware of their proud past. Michele Obama is of Geechee heritage. Although far too many African Americans came to this country as slaves, many didn't or overcame that burden. We need to stop the shameful lies told to keep them oppressed. The history of Black Americans has much to be proud of.

    In "Uncle Tom's Cabin", the bad guy was an overseer for a Yankee absentee landlord. The reason that Lincoln was so reluctant to free any slaves was because of the wealthy Yankee Republican slaveholders. Guess why the Republicans resist immigration reform. It's called undocumented workers, who work below minimum wage with no benefits. Wonder who they work for?
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2014
  12. gloine36

    gloine36 Member

    The 1860 census does not say that at all. I suggest you stop reading what two respiratory air technicians have written in their pathetic excuse for history and start using what historians have found. The 1860 census clearly shows large numbers of slaves owned by Southern slave owners in both large and small plantations. The 70,000 black confederates never existed because there is no record of them. There are plenty of records where the Confederates rejected the idea of blacks as soldiers. You find the record that there were black confederates and prove it. Also, there was no policy of shooting any Confederates. Why was there no policy on shooting black confederates? Because there were none.

    I really don't mean to be rude, but you're just repeating worn out Lost Cause crap. You have no proof of anything while historians have tons of documentation to back up their claims. That's the whole problem with the Lost Cause in the first place. It isn't about the historical past, but instead is a deliberate attempt to obscure the past in favor of fictitious heritage.

    Now if you want to address the black slave issue, that is another story. The first blacks taken to Jamestown did not arrive as slaves, nor were they sold into slavery. They had been baptized into Christianity by the Dutch aboard ship. They could not legally be sold into slavery. So therefore they were treated as indentured servants. Many of the first blacks were treated as such. However, over time that changed as conditions in Virginia got better. Read what Edmund Morgan wrote in his seminal American Slavery, American Freedom masterpiece on colonial Virginia. He explains how things changed over time and why the elite whites of Virginia decided on making black chattel slavery the law of the land. Also, Alan Taylor does a fine job of explaining that on pages 150-157 in his book, The American Colonies.
  13. thomas pendrake

    thomas pendrake Active Member

    I suppose you have read different copies of the U.S. census from the ones that I have.Why do so many photos of Confederate troops show so many black men in uniforms with weapons? Why do so many photos of Confederate army reunions from the early 19th century show black men mingled with the white men? The fact is that Black Americans hear many lies designed to make them feel exploited ( not a hard sell) and inferior. Don't let them know that they can succeed.
  14. gloine36

    gloine36 Member

    So many photos? You mean the very, very, very few. That is because there were no black confederates. The reunions have been documented extensively. The documents show clearly who those black men were and what their service was. It was not as a solider, but as the faithful negro role which gained them a form of acceptance in the increasingly hostile Jim Crow South. Just look at the pension records for them. NONE of them were for being a soldier.
    As for the census, start showing the proof. You can access it here.
    Here is some more information on that.
  15. thomas pendrake

    thomas pendrake Active Member

    Yowsa, yowsa, wes gotta keeps dem darkies en deyh places. Have they changed the census in the last few months? What internet are you on?
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2014
  16. gloine36

    gloine36 Member

    Why would they need to change it? It's been the way it's been for a century or more depending on date of publication. The statistics are all there.
  17. Peninha

    Peninha Member

    As an outsider (I am not an American) I think that slavery and basic human rights were indeed the cause of the Civil War. More, I've seen quite a few movies (not the best historical source I know) on the Civil War and in fact they do refer to that as the main cause for the dispute between North and South.
  18. thomas pendrake

    thomas pendrake Active Member

    Lincoln had pledged to not end slavery (because of the wealthy northern Republicans who owned so many slaves in the south). Southernors were tired of the economic exploitation of the South by the North. Many historians understand that slavery was not the actual cause of war. Remember, most Northerners felt that the only acceptable way to end slavery was to ship the Negro slaves to Africa, then free them. Consider Liberia. There are many historical lies told by the victors of the war.
    Peninha likes this.
  19. thomas pendrake

    thomas pendrake Active Member

    You must be reading different versions, or not bothering to look at who the slaveholders of record were and where they were from. There was much suffering because of slavery, and Afro-Americans continue to suffer the result of "reconstruction". Racists like you continue to spread the lie that "those poor darkies" can't succeed without you holdng their hands. They have long since proven that many of them can and do succeed on their own merits. They are true Americans and need to be treated as such. Show them the respect they so much deserve.
  20. gloine36

    gloine36 Member

    Thomas, you're trying to create more fiction with this crap. The facts do not support your opinion. Nobody took the colonization of Liberia seriously. Instead, a war was fought over slavery when white slave owners in the South decided they could handle losing their political power over the union. You want people to believe your lies? Then start showing facts. You don't have any. The census clearly shows who the slave owners were. The white Southerners were the traitors to the United States and the men who owned the slaves. Now start presenting facts or just shut up. I get sick of liars like you.

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